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Featherweight Decision Reversed in Ghana

May 10, 1964 - A Ghana Government agency today reversed the decision of last night’s world featherweight championship bout in Accra, Ghana, and gave the verdict to a Ghanaian.

Sugar Ramos of Cuba (right), the defending champion, originally had been awarded a split decision over Floyd Robertson (left) at the Sports Arena in the first championship bout ever held in Accra. The decision was booed for several minutes by most of the crowd of 30,000.

The ruling of the Ghana Boxing Authority was the first reversal of a title bout decision in modern ring history. Immediately after the fight, the boxing authority ruled the bout “no contest.”

Today, it went a step further. It asked the World Boxing Association to recognize Robertson as the champion.

In New York, Nat Fleischer of Ring Magazine, considered a leading American authority on boxing, said that “Ramos will still be considered champion.” He said he would list him as such in his influential Ring Record Book.

The Government of President Kwame Nkrumah had put up a guarantee of $150,000 to bring the bout to Ghana’s capital. Ramos was assured of $50,000 and Robertson $10,000. No decision has been made on when they will receive the money.

The 24-year-old Ramos, who lives in Mexico City, was a 5-2 favorite. The 27-year-old Robertson knocked down the champion in the 13th round.

Jack Solomons of London promoted the fight. He called the original decision “incredible.”

“This is robbery,” he said. “Robertson won.”

There have been nine reversals of decisions in major bouts since 1897. Perhaps the most famous one involved Joey Giardello and Billy Graham in 1952.

Giardello won a split decision over Graham on Dec. 19, 1952, at Madison Square Garden. The decision was overruled by the New York Athletic Commission chairman, Robert Christenberry. Giardello brought the case before the State Supreme Court, and the reversal was held invalid.

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